OKC Thunder 30 for 30 roundtable: Teams hurt most by suspension

OKC Thunder roundtable: Marvin Bagley III #35 (C) of the Sacramento Kings . (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
OKC Thunder roundtable: Marvin Bagley III #35 (C) of the Sacramento Kings . (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Continuing the OKC Thunder 30 for 30 roundtable series the T.I. writing team isolates the teams who’ll be hurt most from the extended hiatus.

Yesterday the Thunderous Intentions writing team offered their thoughts on which teams would benefit most from the extended layoff due to the suspension. In question 16 of the OKC Thunder roundtable series the team addresses which team will be hurt most by the hiatus.

With that, I give you question 16 from the series…

Q16: Which team(s) are hurt the most from the suspension?

Shontelle Matano:

I wouldn’t say that this team will be hurt the most, but I will say that their momentum may be altered. The Lakers did lose to the Brooklyn Nets before suspension but prior to that, they were on a four-game win streak. Two of those matches were big wins against the Milwaukee Bucks and Clippers – two teams who will be enormous threats in the postseason.

They also hadn’t lost back to back matches since Christmas Day so they were in their greatest form. Any time you’re having a break, you will be a bit rusty. This could be the same for the Lakers but we’ll have to wait and see because with LeBron James at the helm anything is possible.

Rylan Stiles:

I think one team that will oddly benefit and suffer is the 76ers. Of course, Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid need time to recover from their injuries that have felt like they have lingered all season, but let’s focus on Joel Embiid.

He has been known for coming back into training camp and the start of the season out of shape. With a layoff like this and the inability to go to gyms or team workout facilities, could we be seeing a repeat of that?

Beyond that, it, of course, is bad timing for every team. Even the OKC Thunder, if somehow the NBA starts up with a training camp period then thrusts the league straight into the playoffs, it will tough knowing the game postponed the night of the delay could’ve earned OKC a home-court advantage in the postseason.

Dustin McGowen

The team hurt most by the suspension is the Portland TrailBlazers. We’ll never know if the team could have gelled for one final playoff push if the regular season doesn’t continue. The Blazers currently have the highest payroll in the league and could lose Hassan Whiteside and a resurgent Carmelo Anthony in the offseason.

Can you imagine a postseason without Damian Lillard? Also, as a reminder, Portland has $72 Million tied up between Lillard, CJ McCollum, and Jusuf Nurkic next year. Good Luck.

Tamberlyn Richardson:

More from Thunderous Intentions

Some teams can fall into either category of benefiting or suffering from the layoff. Perhaps the best example is the Raptors and Lakers. LeBron James was adamant the rest wouldn’t help him which is slightly interesting given he used to take a week off when with the Cavaliers. The irony is James might be right — but for a different reason.

Both clubs have veterans on them so getting those players rest is important, though the Raptors can use the time to finally get all their team healthy. On the other hand that could also result in a first-round playoff series versus a club who might get back two superstars!

Specifically, the Nets might get both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant back. In the Lakers case if the NBA elects to have a play-in for the final seed that could open the door for Portland to land the eighth seed since they should get Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins both back during the layoff.

As of the suspension, the Raptors were on the longest win streak (four-games) while the OKC Thunder, Nets and Magic had each won three in a row. In the prior 10 games, two teams held the top record of 8-2 (Lakers and OKC Thunder) while the Pacers, Kings, and Clippers were 7-3. Momentum can be very fragile so assuming these five teams will simply pick up where they left off after a long layoff would be naive.

Next. 30 x 30 roundtable Q15: Teams helped most by suspension. dark

Wednesday the Thunderous Intentions writing team offers up the individual who’ll benefit most from having extended time off due to the suspension.

Wishing everyone a safe and healthy day.